When English manager Alan Pardew was announced as head coach at ADO Den Haag, many followers of the Premier League wished ADO fans commiseratory ‘good luck’. However, can the sacked West Brom and Newcastle manager lead the relegation-threatened Dutch club to safety?

  • by Michael Statham
  • Follow Michael on Twitter @EredivisieMike

Over a long career, the 58-year-old has only ever played or managed in England. Pardew stated in his ADO press conference how he was ‘excited’ to starting his first foreign adventure and how he wanted ‘to have his mind opened’. Clearly his last decade working in football hasn’t dampened his spirits.

ADO are a club reeling from key player sales, with Sheraldo Becker, Wilfried Kanon and Nasser El Khayati all leaving for free or very small transfer fees. Alfons Groenendijk stepped down as manager a few weeks ago leaving Den Haag in seventeenth, despite finishing comfortably in mid-table in the three previous seasons. The lack of investment from the club’s owners and a recent training bust-up between defender Donny Gorter and assistant boss Edwin de Graaf (the latter of which was sacked from the club) have left ADO in turmoil.

The club’s General Manager Mohammed Hamdi took action; he hired Pardew, along with his assistant – and friend – Chris Powell, plus Martin Jol – former manager of Tottenham and Ajax – as advisor to the English duo.

In a club statement, Hamdi wrote, “I am confident that they can do the job. After all, together they have more than five hundred games of experience as manager or coach in the Premier League, the strongest competition in the world.”

Lex Immers, an elder statesman of the ADO midfield, spoke after his first training session under Pardew, pleased already that ‘the intensity is two or three times higher’.

A club sitting second bottom of the Eredivisie cannot ususally call upon such managerial experience.

Now, Pardew says that his time at West Bromich Albion was the only time in his career where he wasn’t able to have an immediate impact with his players. So let’s take a look at the statistics from previous clubs. At Crystal Palace, Pardew achieved nine wins in his first fifteen games; meanwhile, when with Newcastle (almost a decade ago), the Magpies avoided defeat 26 times in Pardew’s first 37 matches in charge.

Of course, like most managerial appointments, no-one is perfect. Pardew did suffer poor runs and, more concerning for ADO fans, he was heavily questioned by supporters at the end of his tenure with his former clubs.

Pardew has signed a contract until the end of the season. At the moment, the future is not clear beyond this point, arguably because the club’s Eredivisie future is also not clear. Pardew’s success with ADO will be measured by managing to avoid relgation this season. Stabilising the historic club back in mid-table would be the long-term ambition.

Should ADO stay up, we may see either Pardew remain in the Netherlands or assistant Powell may wish to try his hand at being head coach once again. The future for now though in The Hague looks to be English. For the good of foreign managers in the Eredivisie, let’s hope that Pardew can follow in the footsteps of successful, former Eredivisie, English managers Steve McClaren and Bobby Robson.

Michael Statham (808 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.